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Messages - staehpj1

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General Discussion / Re: brooks saddle break-in how long
« on: July 25, 2014, 12:05:27 pm »
My only Brooks experience was with a B17.  I found it just OK when new and once really broken in I hated it.  I am probably the exception though.

Gear Talk / Re: Panniers vs. BOB?
« on: July 25, 2014, 09:49:49 am »
It will depend on a lot of factors including how much you are carrying and what bike you will be riding.

I like to pack like an ultralight backpacker and as a result won't consider a trailer.  I figure I can get my minimalist gear on even a race bike.  I have found it a good way to go.  I have even forgone the panniers in favor of waterproof stuff sacks.

Before I started packing so light I rode a touring bike with panniers.  That worked out well for me and I preferred it to a trailer with the touring bike.

Where a trailer might make sense is if you want to ride a sportier road bike rather than a touring bike and want to carry more than you can manage on the road bike.

Gear Talk / Re: A folding bike for touring?
« on: July 25, 2014, 06:08:20 am »
I have not ridden the Tern, but other folders I have ridden with a tall "mast" for the bars, were a terrible ride for any thing more easy riding for short errands.  The problems I found were that the mast flexed badly and it was impossible to get a proper fit adjustment on them.

Most folders come in only one frame size and do not lend themselves to much adjustment other than raising and lowering the saddle.  The bars also can adjust up and down, but I was generally not able to get them as low as I wanted them and definitely couldn't get them as far forward.  When I modified one with different bars to get my hand farther forward there was a lot more mast flexing because there was yet more leverage.

Adding a load would only make things worse.

Some folders may address at least some of these issues.  I suspect that a Bike Friday may address my concerns at least to some extent, but I really don't see any sign that the Terns do.  They do not look like a bike I would want to tour on.

The downside is, of course, the cost-differential of staying at campgrounds or motels etc.  This is the sweet spot I'm trying to find ... literally might even be worth what I mentioned before about literally going into "The woods" and pitching a tent.
The locale you choose to be in will have a large effect on all of this.  There are areas where the motels are generally dirt cheap.  There are areas where camping for free in plain sight is easy.  There are areas that offer very cheap camping in great state parks.

In the middle of the country in the great plains I have many times stayed overnight in town parks often sleeping under the shelter of a picnic pavilion.  I have never been run off despite having done this many times.  I suspect that staying multiple nights would be likely to get you run off.  If the town is large enough to have a library or fast food establishment there is probably WiFi.

In Oregon, California and some other places cheap camping is generally available to cyclists.  In many cases long stays will not be allowed.  You might have to go into town to do any connected work unless you can manage with 3G or 4G assuming there is a signal, and there often will not be.

On my Southern Tier tour, I met a guy who said he was walking across the country carrying his gear in a double baby jogger.  He had been doing so for quite a few years and apparently was not planning to get there any time soon.  He stopped for weeks or months at a time where ever he felt like it.  When I camped next to him he had been staying for quite a few weeks at a $10 a night campsite at the Apache Gold Casino.  The price was cheap, the food in the casino was both good and cheap, and they probably had WiFi.

Personally I prefer to go home at the end of a tour.  A few weeks or a few month on the road is nice, but doing it full time all year long would get old for me.  I suggest doing a long tour with a planned end, maybe do something like the Trans America, Southern Tier, or Northern Tier routes.  It is an easier way to break into life on the road because others have already blazed the trail for you.  By the end of a trip of that length you will know whether life on the road full time is for you.  You will also have learned the ropes and know what does and does not work for you.

Gear Talk / Re: Best foot wear for touring?
« on: July 22, 2014, 01:23:29 pm »
I gave up cycling shoes when they got wet and stayed wet. Switched to bicycling sandals with clipless cleats. Only footwear.

That is a point that many people miss.  My solution isn't sandals though.  Unlike most other bike shoes I have owned, I find that my sidis soak up almost no water.  They soak little enough water that if I change socks I have dry feet, but I usually do not bother because I wear socks that aren't too bad when wet and dry quickly as long as the shoes have a lot of mesh.  So it has become an non issue for me, but I do remember having shoes that seemed to never dry.

General Discussion / Re: dogs and security
« on: July 22, 2014, 09:05:55 am »
Good, but I think by the time you start yelling and whistling, the angry dog will have already done his job (biting).
The risk of bites is grossly over rated IMO.  I have ridden hundreds of thousands of miles, many of them back in the 60's when dogs mostly roamed free where I lived.  I was chased on pretty much every ride.  In well over 50 years of riding I have never been bitten by any of the hundreds of dogs that have chased me.  Since I have been touring I can recall very few dogs that I thought wanted anything more than a good chase.

General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 20, 2014, 08:12:02 am »
Glad to help.  Enjoy the ride, it is a beautiful coast.

General Discussion / Re: Bike / Hike Campsites on southern PCR
« on: July 19, 2014, 10:49:44 am »
In September I'll be riding the PCR from San Francisco, south to the border, and have found that many of the campgrounds marked on the Adventure Cycling maps don't have bike/hike sites (I just presumed if they were marked they would).

As I recall, the maps specifically say hiker/biker where that is the case.  Do you mean that ones that are marked hiker/biker actually are not?  In that case the AC addenda should say so.  If concerned, calling ahead each day would be an option.

When I did the PCH I was usually camping with other cyclists and someone else usually called ahead to verify what the situation was.  I never needed to bother, but calling ahead each day wouldn't be to big of a deal.  That said, when alone I typically don't bother.  I start early enough each day that I get to camp early, so if I find a place full I have time to press on to the next one.

Gear Talk / Re: Packing a DSLR?
« on: July 17, 2014, 10:25:47 am »
A handlebar bag with a bit of cushioning under the camera.  An article of clothing does the trick for the padding.  My DSLR did fine that way on the Trans America.

I decided it was just too much camera to carry and went to a 4:3 Olympus Pen EPL1.  It is much lighter, the lens selection is fine, and it takes great pictures.

That said my phone takes such good pictures that it is all I usually take camera wise.  I find that other than missing longer lenses once in a while the phone is fine.

Routes / Re: TransAmerica Trail: Headed East, looking for Partners
« on: July 11, 2014, 06:18:31 pm »
I think you are about ten days behind where we were on this date the year we did the TA.  We met people going the same direction fairly often at the camp sites, less so on the road.  I think we met more folks a bit further on than where you are now, so there may be hope it will pick up.

Routes / Re: Idaho - Trans Am
« on: July 11, 2014, 01:30:16 pm »
I am pretty traffic tolerant, but I don't remember Idaho as being anything but delightful other than the heat we hit when we were there (it was over 100 F for us some of the time).

As far as the roads, they definitely did not stand out in a negative way.  Traffic was lighter than many other places on the TA.  I remember Wyoming and Montana as both being worse than Idaho in that regard and they were OK IMO.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: July 10, 2014, 10:15:23 am »
But even with a 99-pound limit, it might still be advisable to pack your gear separately. That's because the TSA will almost certainly open your bike box to inspect it (since it doesn't fit in the scanner). When I pack only the bike and nothing else in the box, the TSA can inspect it without pulling the bike out of the box. They just open the top and look in.

Good point.  At my local airport (BWI) they seem to open the bike box every time.  When I have flown home from other cities they more often have not.  The TSA has been pretty brutal in their handling of my stuff.   They opened the little tool bag under my saddle, dumped the loose contents in the bottom of the box and ripped the stiff plastic lining out of the bag.  On the same trip they broke off one of the cable adjusters in the braze on.

Funny thing is that the only times in recent memory that they didn't open the bike at BWI were the times that I had all of my gear packed with the bike.  Both times it was in a soft case rather than a box.  Not sure why they didn't open it these times.  Maybe my soft case fits in the xray machine?  If so there may be an advantage to taking off both wheels and packing in a smaller box, bag, or case.

General Discussion / Re: Cardboard Box for Bike as Checked Baggage
« on: July 10, 2014, 06:27:36 am »
Just curious! How much did your bike and box weigh. My surly is pushing 50# and will be getting ready to head to San Diego to start Southern Tier in September. Looking for options to get it and my gear to there from Iowa.
Be careful, going over 50 lbs may be a show stopper.  Is that with just the bike in the box?  It must be a very heavy bike and/or box.  Worst case put the saddle, pedals, and whatever in another box.  Taking some gear as a carry on might help as well.

I have managed to get my bike and all gear in just a bike bag and still (barely) come in at under 50 lbs.  With just a few pounds in a small carry on (actually small enough to be a "personal item") it was easily under 50 lbs.  Coincidentally that was for my Southern Tier tour.  Granted that was a lighter bike and ultralight gear, but with two checked bags it should be pretty easy for even a heavy bike and pretty heavy gear.

If you can't manage with two checked bags, I'd think long and hard about your packing choices.

Connecting ACA Routes / Re: N tier to Seattle to Coast route?
« on: July 09, 2014, 11:08:53 am »
Depending on where you want to go in Seattle you can continue to the end of the Northern Tier in Anacortes. Then use the Pacific Coast Route to go south. In Bremerton there is a spur to reach the Seattle-Bremerton ferry. You can take the ferry across which brings you into downtown Seattle.

The ferry was a nice ride.  Good views if it isn't fogged in.

GPS Discussion / Re: FrontPack: new mobile app for cycle touring
« on: July 09, 2014, 09:11:02 am »
A smartphone cannot [yet] replace the need for dedicated GPS device but it puts everything in one place and I always have it with me.
Really?  I'd be curious what needed functions a dedicated GPS has that a smart phone can't provide.  I never considered any form of GPS a necessity, but smartphones seem to supply the functions I want in a GPS.  I own a handheld GPS and typically leave it home when bike touring and when backpacking.

I'll check out your app.

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